Building.  The art of building comprises the practice of civil architecture, or the mechanical operations necessary to Relation of building to architecture. carry the designs of the architect into effect. It is not infrequently called "practical architecture," but the adoption of this form would lead only to confusion, by rendering it difficult to make the distinction generally understood between architecture (q.v.) as a fine or liberal art, and architecture as a mechanical art. The execution of works of architecture necessarily includes building, but building is frequently employed when the result is not architectural; a man may be a competent builder without being an architect, but no one can be an accomplished architect unless he be competent to specify and direct all the operations of building. An architect should have a scientific knowledge of the various soils he may meet with, such as clay, earth, silt, rock, gravel, chalk, etc., so that when the trial holes are dug out on the site, he can see the nature of the soil, and at once know what kind of a foundation to put to the building, and the depth to which he must go to get a good bottom.
He should also have a good knowledge of chemistry, so that he may understand the effects of the various acids, gases, etc., that are contained in the materials he uses, and the objections to their presence. He must be acquainted with the principles of timbering in trenches, and excavations, shoring, brickwork, fireproof construction, stonework, carpentry and joinery, smiths' work, plumbing, heating, ventilation, bells, electric and gas lighting, water-supply, drainage, plastering, tiling to internal walls or pavings and roofs, slating of roofs, glazing, painting and decoration. He should be able to calculate the various strengths and strains to be placed on any portion of the structure, and have a general knowledge of the building trade, enabling him to deal with any difficulty or defects that may arise.
An important feature in the qualification of the architect is that he should be thoroughly conversant with the by-laws of the different towns or districts, as to the requirements for the various classes of buildings, and the special features of portions of the different buildings. The following are examples of the various buildings which he may have to design, and the erection of which he may have to superintend: - dwelling-houses, domestic buildings, shops, dwellings for the working class, public buildings such as churches, schools, hospitals, libraries and hotels, factories of all kinds for all general trades, studios, electric power stations, cold storage buildings, stables and slaughterhouses. With regard to factories, places for the storage or making of different patent foods, and for slaughter of beasts intended for human consumption, stringent by-laws are in most countries laid down and enforced by the public health authorities. In England, the Public Health Acts and By-laws are carried out by the various borough or district authorities, who appoint inspectors especially to study the health of the public with regard to sanitary arrangements.
The inspectors have special powers to deal with all improper or defective food, or with any defects in buildings that may affect its cleanly preparation.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the clients, the various buildings have to be constructed and planned on clearly Reasons for special type of plans. defined lines, according to the rules of the various authorities that control their erection; thus the construction and planning of public schools are governed in England by the board of education, and churches are governed by the various societies that assist in financing the erection of these edifices; of these the Incorporated Church Building Society exercises the strongest control. Factories both in England and France must be planned and erected to meet the separate acts that deal with these buildings. The fire insurance companies lay down certain requirements according to the size of the building, and the special trade for which it is erected, and fix their rate of premium accordingly. Dwelling-houses in London must be erected in accordance with the many building acts which govern the materials to be used, and the methods by which they shall be employed, the thickness of walls, rates of inclination of roofs, means of escape from fire, drainage, space at rear, etc. etc.; these laws especially forbid the use of timber framed buildings.
In sundry districts in England where the model by-laws are not in force, notably at Letchworth, Herts, it is possible to erect buildings with sound materials untrammelled by by-laws. With regard to premises used in a combined way, as shop and dwelling-house, if in London, and the building exceeds 10 squares, or 1000 sq. ft. super in area, the stairs and a large portion of the building must be built of fire-resisting materials. In the erection of London flats under certain conditions the stairs and corridors must be of fire-resisting materials, while in parts of New York timber buildings are allowed; for illustrations of these see the article Carpentry. In public buildings and theatres in London, Paris and New York not only the construction, but also the exits and seating accommodation and stage, including the scenery dock and flies, must conform to certain regulations.
The conditions necessary for planning a successful building may be summarized as follows: - (1) Ease of access; (2) Good Conditions necessary for a successful building. light (3) Good service; (4) Pleasing environment and approaches; (5) Minimum cost with true economy; in the case of office buildings, also ease of rearrangement to suit tenants. An architect should also be practically acquainted with all the modes of operation in all the trades or arts employed in building, and be able minutely to estimate beforehand the absolute cost involved in the execution of a proposed structure. The power to do this necessarily involves that of measuring work (usually done by the quantity surveyor at an advanced stage of the work), and of ascertaining the quantities to be done. In ordinary practice the architect usually cubes a building at a price per foot cube, as will be described hereafter, but an architect should know how to measure and prepare quantities, or he cannot be said to be master of his profession.